Stem cell factor and granulocyte colony-stimulating factor reduce β-amyloid deposits in the brains of APP/PS1 transgenic mice

Bin Li, Maria E. Gonzalez-Toledo, Chun Shu Piao, Allen Gu, Roger E. Kelley, Li Ru Zhao*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Introduction. Alzheimer's disease (AD) is widely recognized as a serious public health problem and heavy financial burden. Currently, there is no treatment that can delay or stop the progressive brain damage in AD. Recently, we demonstrated that stem cell factor (SCF) in combination with granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) (SCF+G-CSF) has therapeutic effects on chronic stroke. The purpose of the present study is to determine whether SCF+G-CSF can reduce the burden of β-amyloid deposits in a mouse model of AD. Methods. APP/PS1 transgenic mice were used as the model of AD. To track bone marrow-derived cells in the brain, the bone marrow of the APP/PS1 mice was replaced with the bone marrow from mice expressing green fluorescent protein (GFP). Six weeks after bone marrow transplantation, mice were randomly divided into a saline control group and a SCF+G-CSF-treated group. SCF in combination with G-CSF was administered subcutaneously for 12 days. Circulating bone marrow stem cells (CD117+ cells) were quantified 1 day after the final injection. Nine months after treatment, at the age of 18 months, mice were sacrificed. Brain sections were processed for immunohistochemistry to identify β-amyloid deposits and GFP expressing bone marrow-derived microglia in the brain. Results. Systemic administration of SCF+G-CSF to APP/PS1 transgenic mice leads to long-term reduction of β-amyloid deposition in the brain. In addition, we have also observed that the SCF+G-CSF treatment increases circulating bone marrow stem cells and augments bone marrow-derived microglial cells in the brains of APP/PS1 mice. Moreover, SCF+G-CSF treatment results in enhancement of the co-localization of bone marrow-derived microglia and β-amyloid deposits in the brain. Conclusions. These data suggest that bone marrow-derived microglia play a role in SCF+G-CSF-induced long-term effects to reduce β-amyloid deposits. This study provides insights into the contribution of the hematopoeitic growth factors, SCF and G-CSF, to limit β-amyloid accumulation in AD and may offer a new therapeutic approach for AD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8
JournalAlzheimer's Research and Therapy
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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